cdn mobile

‘Hercules’, world’s most poisonous spider, sets record for largest specimen collected in Australia

By: Associated Press January 04,2024 - 05:59 PM

'Hercules' spider. In this Dec. 10, 2023 photo supplied by the Australian Reptile Park, a male specimen of the Sydney funnel-web spider, the world's most poisonous arachnid, has been found and donated to the Australian Reptile Park, north of Sydney. The spider, given the name "Hercules", measured 7.9 centimeters (3 inches) from foot to foot, surpassing the park's previous record-holder from 2018, the male funnel-web named "Colossus" and will be used in the reptile park's antivenom program. (Caitlin Vine/Australian Reptile Park via AP)

In this Dec. 10, 2023 photo supplied by the Australian Reptile Park, a male specimen of the Sydney funnel-web spider, the world’s most poisonous arachnid, has been found and donated to the Australian Reptile Park, north of Sydney. (Caitlin Vine/Australian Reptile Park via AP)

SYDNEY  — With fangs that could pierce a human fingernail, the largest male specimen of the world’s most poisonous arachnid has found a new home at the Australian Reptile Park where it will help save lives after a member of the public discovered it by chance.

The deadly Sydney funnel-web spider dubbed “Hercules” was found on the Central Coast, about 50 miles north of Sydney, and was initially given to a local hospital, the Australian Reptile Park said in a statement Thursday.

READ: Poisonous banana spider of Brazil aids in erectile dysfunction treatment

Largest male spider specimen

Spider experts from the nearby park retrieved it and soon realized it was the largest male specimen ever received from the public in Australia.

The spider measured 7.9 centimeters (3.1 inches) from foot to foot, surpassing the park’s previous record-holder from 2018, the male funnel-web named “Colossus”.

Sydney funnel-web spiders usually range in length from one to five centimeters, with females being generally larger than their male counterparts but not as deadly. They are predominantly found in forested areas and suburban gardens from Sydney, Australia’s most populous city, to the coastal city of Newcastle in the north and the Blue Mountains to the west.

READ: Cobras in the Philippines: What you should know about them

Hercules

“Hercules” will contribute to the reptile park’s antivenom program. Safely captured spiders handed in by the public undergo “milking” to extract venom, essential for producing life-saving antivenom.

“We’re used to having pretty big funnel-web spiders donated to the park, however receiving a male funnel-web this big is like hitting the jackpot,” said Emma Teni, a spider keeper at Australian Reptile Park. “Whilst female funnel-web spiders are venomous, males have proven to be more lethal.

READ: Worms spin spider silk as a tougher, green alternative to synthetic fibers

Park’s venom program

“With having a male funnel-web this size in our collection, his venom output could be enormous, proving incredibly valuable for the park’s venom program.”

Since the inception of the program in 1981, there has not been a fatality in Australia from a funnel-web spider bite.

Recent rainy, humid weather along Australia’s east coast has provided the ideal conditions for funnel-web spiders to thrive.

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

Read Next

Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of Cebudailynews. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

TAGS: Australia, Hercules, Sydney funnel-web spider

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.